Moira Maw didn’t have to look far for a role model.
She just had to look at her older sister.
Maw is a sophomore standout pitcher on the Archbishop Ryan High School softball team and when she was younger, she spent time watching her sister Carly play the game she now loves so much.
Carly, who is three years older than Moria, played for Conwell-Egan during her freshman year of high school. She gave up the game for a little while, then started playing again when she got to Gwynedd Mercy University, where she is now a utility infielder and outfielder.
She’s doing more than playing the game, she’s providing her younger sister with a blueprint on how to do things the right way.
“My sister played when she was younger, so I followed in her footsteps,” said Maw, who lives in Bensalem. “I look up to my sister a lot, she plays college softball at Gwynedd Mercy. I look up to her a lot, she’s doing really good.
“She plays right field and she’s a very big part of my support system. I look up to her each and every day. She’s very supportive and she helps me with everything, not just softball. She’s a great role model.”
Good news big sis, little sis isn’t just watching you, she’s following your lead. And now the younger Maw is one of the best softball players in the Catholic League and was a huge reason for the success of the Ragdolls this year.
Ryan finished second in the crowded Catholic League, then won two playoff games to get back to the Catholic League championship.
There, the Ragdolls lost to Conwell-Egan 6-3 at Neumann University in Delaware County on Monday afternoon.
The Eagles got off to a fast start, scoring four runs in the opening inning, and hung on for the plaque.
It was a great win for the Eagles, but the Ragdolls did themselves proud as well. Ryan had just two seniors on the roster, Sabrina Pastino and Janine Swift, who had three hits in the loss.
Now those two were pretty good ones to have, both were tremendous players and great leaders, but it’s not too common a team that went to the championship game has only two players graduating.
They’ll be missed after the year, but Maw and her younger teammates are happy they gave the seniors a chance to play for a Catholic League plaque and beyond.
Ryan will now go for a district championship next week when it meets Swenson on Tuesday in a Class 4A affair, and in June it will begin play in the state playoffs.
“We were really happy for our seniors, and we’re happy we’re going on to give them more chances to play,” said Maw, who was the starting pitcher last year as a freshman. “We are a really tight team, we are all really good friends, so we were happy that we won and made it to districts and states.
“We lost our first game in the PCL, and then after that we started taking it game by game. After that, we started playing a lot better and we made it to the championship game. I’m really proud of our team.”
The entire team played well, and Maw credits her team for a lot of her success.
She’s being very modest. All season Maw proved to be one of the top pitchers in the league, and pitched the Ragdolls into the title game.
“In the beginning of the season, I was having problems with walks,” Maw admitted. “But my teammates were always there to pick me up. They helped me whenever I needed it. The seniors were great at that, but the whole team helped.”
Maw has received help from her sister’s teammate, too.
Growing up, her sister played with future Ryan superstar softball player Dana Bell, who starred both as a pitcher and a shortstop. She’s now playing softball at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“I remember watching my sister and her play and I told my dad, ‘That’s what I want to do,’ and that’s how I got into pitching,” Maw said. “Dana and my sister are really good friends. I went to (Dana’s) house a couple of times and she helped me, and then I started going to her pitching coach. She helped me a lot.”
Softball isn’t the only thing Maw has in common with Bell.
Bell was ranked near the top of her senior class at Ryan, and Maw is ranked 16th in her sophomore class.
Playing sports and maintaining elite grades isn’t easy, but Maw continues to find a way to do it.
“It sometimes gets hard when you have to do a lot of school work and softball gets going,” Maw said. “That’s when it gets hard, but I’ve been doing pretty well.”
That’s an understatement.
Maw still has two years to be one of the top players in the Catholic League, but she’s focused on closing out the season on a high note.
“We’re glad we still have a district game and then state playoffs,” she said. “We have so much fun playing together. I think that’s one of the reasons we did well. We really like playing with each other.”